ISLAMABAD - Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the huge irregularities during the OIC summit held on 23 March 1999 under the supervision of then PML-N government and ordered secretary foreign affairs to conduct inquiry, fix responsibility within one month and submit the report.
The PAC subcommittee headed by Shafqat Mehmood of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf during his meeting in the Parliament House took up the special audit report on extraordinary OIC Summit of 1998-99. The committee members shocked to notice that the rental bills of government buildings were much higher than the five-star commercial hotels of Islamabad where the dignitaries were stayed during conference. The total rent was more than Rs 10 million while more than Rs 4.2 million were spent to furnish the ministers’ residences, Parliament Lodges and provincial houses which were already furnished and decorated.
The committee showed its concern over purchase of 10 sets of crockery from Japan, 50 sets from Colombo and 50 sets of cutlery from Sialkot worth of more than Rs 6 million and now these crockery was not available with the Foreign Office. The PAC constituted a three members special committee headed by secretary foreign affairs to physically verify the crockery and submit a detailed report on it and in case of missing of crockery fix the responsibility.
The committee expressed displeasure over the spending of advance payment of more than Rs 210 million the officers of the foreign ministry spent and maintained no record of such expenses. The committee sent the matter of overpayment of parliamentarians to DAC to recheck it.
The audit officers also raised objection over the hiring of 330 cars, 100 coasters, 61 hiaces and 19 pickups for six days while the transport was required only for three days. According to audit objection it was against the plan of ministry of foreign affairs and it caused a loss of more than Rs 4.23 million. On the other hand, the ministry has no such record of hiring these vehicles.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad disclosed that ministry lost the whole record in a short-circuit incident.
The PAC ordered foreign secretary to probe the whole matter, fix the responsibility and submit a detailed report in May. The secretary assured the committee that overpayments would be recovered and he would try to produce the available record.